3 ways to support children during a divorce
When you are going through a divorce it can be difficult to think about how it is affecting anyone other than yourself. It’s important to remember that your child likely going through similar emotions as well. It can be hard to determine how best to support your child during a time like this, especially because none of you have had to deal with something quite like this before.
According to research on divorced couples, a divorce can weaken the relationship between a child and their father or mother. Of course, no one wants this. What can parents do to support their child and prevent any extra emotional distress?
1. Remind them that both parents will stay involved
Children who are watching their parents separate may wonder if they will get less time with one parent than the other or worry that they will completely lose contact with a parent. It may be helpful for both parents to sit down with the child and discuss the best ways to keep communication at a maximum. If the court allows, making sure that both parents are involved in their child’s life, even after a divorce, is beneficial to all.
2. Keep the fighting to a minimum
It is never good to have a child feel as though they need to “pick sides” after a divorce. When both parents are constantly fighting, especially in front of their child, it can be difficult to reach a place where all parties feel that their needs are being met. In order to avoid having a child pick sides, it can be helpful to keep all fighting, disagreements or bickering to a minimum when all of you are together.
3. Communicate openly and honestly
Your child may have questions about why you and your spouse are splitting up, what the process will be like and what life post-separation will be like. To reduce stress, it may be helpful to keep communication lines open and answer as many questions as you can. This may help your child feel at ease when the process starts.
No one says that divorce is easy, but it is definitely more difficult when a child is added into the equation. Making sure a child knows they are loved and supported can be crucial to a less stressful life after a parents’ divorce.